MARK Howard certainly has big shoes to fill when he takes over at the helm of the Hastings Valley Vikings next season.
Howard, who has been the reserves coach, will replace Andrew Kable in firsts for 2016.
Kable took the team to three straight Mid North Coast rugby grand finals, winning two, and will be a hard act to follow.
Howard believes he has gleaned some top tips from the best in order to replace the best and lead the Vikings to more success.
"I think I've learnt as much as I can from Kabes," he said.
He's excited to take over and further the club's success, but the competition in general has Howard raring to go.
Another four teams will come into the Vikings' zone in first grade for next season: Wauchope Thunder, Dorrigo, Woolgoolga and Grafton.
"As far as I can remember, it's the biggest competition we've had," Howard said.
Mick Aldridge and Mark Hill will assist Howard with the top grade. Brent Horan will stay on for reserves.
The Vikings will begin pre-season training in January. In the meantime, new faces are welcome to come along and play touch footy every Wednesday at Oxley Oval at 6pm.